Archive | October 2015

And So We Say Goodbye

I don’t usually deal with serious subjects, or those unrelated to writing, but today, I felt compelled to do so. Today, we buried my father-in-law. I couldn’t go with my husband to Mississippi, but I am with him in spirit. He lost his mother in March, so this has been a tough year at our house.

One thing I’ve noticed through this loss, people grieve in different ways. Some are loud and extravagant in their grief, sobbing and wailing profusely. Others sit quietly and say very little. Their grief is no less profound, but they are not extroverted with their display, preferring to grieve in private. I fall somewhere in the middle. I will cry, but quietly and, sometimes, alone. I held myself together pretty well at my mother-in-law’s service, until they played our favorite hymn, Gentle Woman, about the Virgin Mary.

I was taken back to a time, early in my marriage, when she and I were at Mass together. They played that song during Communion. Not being raised Catholic, it was the first time I’d heard it. I was touched by the beauty of the melody and lyrics. I threw myself into the song, my voice soaring on the high notes. I had a great range and powerful set of lungs back in those days. Several heads turned in the congregation. I guess Catholics don’t sing as loudly as Presbyterians? I was a little embarrassed until she took my hand, squeezing it. “You sing as loudly as you want. You have a beautiful voice. I just sort of croak along. You sing extra loudly for both of us.” I took that to heart and every time they sang that song in church, I cut loose.

That memory came back to me in a flood and I burst into tears. I kept singing, even if I couldn’t hit the high notes anymore. Instead, I added harmony to it, singing alto, harmonizing on my own. (Catholics tend to sing in unison, not in parts.) It was my way of saying goodbye and telling her how much I’d loved her.

I haven’t really cried yet for my father-in-law, though I am tearful as I write this. He was a strong man, somewhat gruff. He could be gentle and patient, but also firm and resolute. He loved to tell stories of his life—something my husband inherited from him. A retired Marine, he was a firm believer that one was a Marine for life. He was an instructor at Parris Island during the Korean War and took his duty very seriously. I imagine that his men will always remember him as being tough as nails, uncompromising and thorough.

My own father died when I was 25. Al stepped in, giving me love and comfort in a quiet, gentle way. He offered advice and support, in the form of stories. Even if I haven’t seen him much in the last few years, I miss him very much. I spoke to him on the phone just before he died. He couldn’t speak, but he recognized my voice. I told him I loved and missed him. Then words failed me. I couldn’t make myself say goodbye. He didn’t say anything, his failing body had robbed him of the ability to speak, but I heard his sharp intake of breath and I fell apart.

I hope when it’s my time to go, I go fast. We all watched my father-in-law slowly fail. With each stroke, he got weaker and less able to do things for himself. Eventually, he lost the ability to speak, though he could write a little. He couldn’t stand on his own, though he was always trying to. A lingering decline is awful. I hope I just keep going until I drop. I admit, toward the end, we were all praying for his release from this life. I know some people consider that wrong, but he didn’t deserve to be trapped in a body that didn’t know when to give up and die. No one should have to suffer like that.

And so, we say goodbye. As he once told my husband, “When I go, it will be the end of one era and the beginning of the next, where you are the one standing on the precipice.”

That’s how this feels to me now, as if I’m standing on the precipice. I don’t know what’s on the other side, and I’m in no hurry to find out, but I know when I go there will be some wonderful people waiting to catch me when I fall.

Something New – Part 41

something new coverThe confrontation with Irving is, fortunately, short lived and not as serious as it might have been. Austin does ride to the hospital in the ambulance, due to the injuries he sustained from the shattered sign. Liat gets a ride with Irma the gate guard.

Irma drove off and Liat wandered into the emergency room. Dwight was there already, pacing in the cramped space. He rushed to Liat’s side when he saw her.

“I saw him, he’s fine. Some glass splinters and bruising on his throat.”

“His throat? Why?”

“Bastard tried to choke him with the golf club.”

“What a wretch!”

“Are you Liat?” the nurse asked from the doorway.

“Yes. I am.”

“He’s asking for you. We don’t usually let anyone but family back, but he’s insisting. Seeing it’s Austin, Doc said it was okay.”

“Thanks, awfully!” She followed the nurse back. “Is it because he’s famous?” Liat asked her.

“We saw the interview with Liz,” she replied. “Anyone who does that for strangers deserves special privileges.” She smiled and opened a door to a treatment room.

Austin lay on his belly, his back exposed. He was peppered with bits of glass and debris, his throat mottled red, blue and purple. He smiled feebly.

“They have me all pumped up on something really lovely,” he mumbled. “Feel all floaty.” He wiggled his fingers, flapping his hands at the wrist as if he were flying.

She sat next to him, taking his hand. She kissed him gently. “That was very brave. Not very smart, but very brave.”

He chuckled. “Next time, I’ll call the stunt double.”

“Thank you for protecting me,” she whispered. “And thank you for a delicious time earlier. I hope we can continue that soon.”

“Me too. Was—luscious.” His eyes drifted closed and he snored slightly with his face pressed against the table.

A white clad doctor and a nurse in pink scrubs, walked in.

“I’m Doctor Dickens,” the young woman said, extending her hand. “I’m a big fan. My colleague got stuck with the fat guy.” She smirked. “We flipped a coin.”

“Nice to meet you. I’m Liat Vogel, the newest companion—and his girlfriend.”

“You lucky girl!”

“I like to think so. I’ll get out of your way.”

“I’ll let you know when we’re done. Don’t worry. The cuts are superficial and the bruises and swelling will go down in a few days. It could have been much worse.”

Liat kissed Austin once more before leaving. He didn’t stir, but she hadn’t expected him to. Dwight stood when she came out. She was surprised to see a room full of people. Many of the cast and crew members were there, anxiously waiting.

“He’s fine,” she announced. “Minor cuts and some bruising. He’ll be all better soon.” She burst into tears.

Dwight embraced her, holding her close. The cast and crew people hugged one another. A couple of the other assistants went to the cafeteria for coffee and cookies. They brought them back, distributing them. They waited, chatting quietly, for about half an hour. When the door opened and Doctor Dickens walked out, they stood.

She smiled. “He’s doing great. He’ll be groggy for awhile. The pain medication worked better than I anticipated. He’ll be sore for a few days,” she told Liat. “And he shouldn’t exert for about a week. The throat is fine, but he should follow up with his own doctor in the next day or two. Any questions?”

Liat had millions, but wasn’t sure what to ask first. Dwight stepped forward, introducing himself. He asked several questions, clarifying instructions and took all the paperwork.

“I can sign him out,” he told the nurse. “I’ve got his medical power of attorney.”

Liat raised an eyebrow.

“We did it as a precaution,” he told her without her asking. “Since he has no family, he asked me if I’d act as his next of kin.”

“You take such good care of him.”

Dwight held her close. “He says that his job saved him, well mine saved me too. I was in a dark place when he hired me. His friendship has been the biggest blessing I ever had.”

Liat nodded, her cheek pressed against his chest. She could hear his heart beating and it was comforting having his strong arms around her.

Sandy approached, speaking softly. “I know he’s going to ask, so please assure him that this isn’t going to be a problem for the show. We have enough footage for several episodes, so he can take time off with no worries.”

“Thanks, Sandy.” Liat hugged the director.

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

To Buy Dellani’s Books

Shocking Finds by Tracey Clark

 
 
About the Book:
 
Title: Shocking Finds: A Finder’s Keeper Novel
Author: Tracey Clark
Publish Company: Gone Writing Publishing
 
Blurb:
 
An
act of rebellion, Marin doesn’t think that running into the new store in town
will hurt anything. Her aunt will never know… right? One car wreck later, her
aunt is hospitalized, Marin is forced to spend her twenty-first birthday
fighting for her life, and magic – the very thing her aunt has always sworn to
be for fools – is real. And so is the irresistible Fae dedicated to Marin’s
protection.
Kyland
has searched Earth-side and all the other realms, looking for a missing Fae
child. A child his Queen prophesied would be able to one day save the Fae
people from the Danshue, as the evil Fae threat tries to overwhelm the entire
Supernatural Community. A child that would know nothing of her blocked gifts,
or her Fae heritage waiting to be claimed. A child that has grown into a curvy,
delicious morsel he would love to taste
Together
Marin and Kyland will fight Fae assassins, overcome betrayals, and if they’re
lucky … they will find the Danshue responsible for their plight. That’s if
Marin doesn’t shock him to death with her erratic new gift, and her out of
control emotions
 
Buy Links:
 
 
About the Author:
 
 
 
 
I am a country-twang gal from
the bluegrass state. Kentucky is a hot bed of horses, cave systems, and
whiskey. And I love all three. With my pugs and bossy kitty cat, I spend my
days writing and working social media. I write with the help of the voices
pushing me to create worlds for them to live in. Fantasy Romance, Contemporary
Romance, and eventually some cowboys (because cowboys live in a group all there
own, yummmm) are the genres that I love best.
In 2005, a serious case of Multiple Sclerosis ended my higher
education as I strived to finish my mathematics degree, wiping away all my
beautiful numbers and a large portion of artistic talents that I had taken for
granted most of my life. After a few years, my beautiful words started to come
back to me. Filling my days and nights with imagined worlds helped me to cope
with my newfound reality. I am currently working with Mary (my publisher) at http://gonewritingpublishing.blogspot.com/
Each day I find that getting sick has helped me to find my passion.
Fun
fact: My granny had enough Irish to embody the term ‘fiery’ and my papaw had
enough Cherokee to suggest they move their family to a reservation … This did
not turn out well for him, not when gran apposed the idea, butttt that is a
story for another time. So palest of pale, and red all year round … what did I
get from that genetic pool??? Ha. I turned out to be pale skinned, but I don’t
burn in the sun the way granny would have. And no matter how much color I seem
to gain during the day, I wake the next morning back at square one, whereas my
papaw had wonderfully tanned skin even in the midst of the darkest winter. boo…
lol… now at 34, I don’t even try. (not to mention that my MS detests being out
in the sun)
What
I did get from these wonderful people??? A love and a need to create. Gran
could design a quilt, bake up wonders, paint and draw with ease, and surround
the home in masterpiece gardens. Okay, my thumb is more black than green, but I
have enjoyed playing with all the rest. Though my favorite lies in oil paints.
As for papaw, he loved to sing, filled notebook after notebook with his poetry,
and had a tendency to create personalized rhymes for strangers and friends
alike (sometimes against their will, while others asked for the right). My
entire life, he called me his songbird. And would ask me (shy little me) to
preform. Poetry is fun, and something that my mother taught me how to do early
on, but I truly believe that a piece of my soul would die without my voice to
sing the melodies in my heart. (just please let me do it at home and not in
front of strangers :P)
 
Author Links:
 
Facebook             
LinkedIn     
 
Teasers for Shocking Finds:
 
1.
The smell of burning rubber and the sound of a hanging bumper, creating sparks along the pavement, were the only proof that this nightmare had ever happened. That and dozens of dented automobiles.
 
2.
 
No more than two, her little face contorted in distress and hopeless anguish, as she sat clinging to her grandmother. Tears ran down her little rounded cheeks. Her face red and body shaking, the child ignored modern rules of society, and expressed her pain the only way that she knew how. It looked almost freeing.
 
3.
 
Her body tense, Marin’s gaze searched for a distraction, anything to scare them off. That’s when she saw him. Lindal’s savior from earlier popped out of nowhere, running toward the fight.
 
4.
 
“Dammit, man. Just drop it. Focus on a calmer conversation.” Kennith was looking slightly sick, moving as far across the room from Marin as he could.
“Man up; we need to know if we can trust him. A Battle Fae.” Anton’s lip curled as he pushed to his feet.
 
5.
 
Marin fell to her knees as the buzzing came back with a vengeance, her eyes blinded by the light coming through the hall window. The light that she had bemoaned every morning for the last twenty-one years, as she made her way to the bathroom. On top of everything else, she felt rage, an all-consuming rage. And, dammit, she still didn’t have any clothes on.
“I needed to transport him back to Marin’s house, and your car was unlocked.”
“It most certainly was not, you Battle-Fae-Bastard.” Anton was vibrating with tension.
 

Announcing One Night in Daytona Beach by Dellani Oakes

One_Night_in_Daytona_Beach_by_Dellani_Oakes - FB_banner

It’s finally here! The long anticipated (at least for me) One Night in Daytona Beach, #17 in the City Nights Series from Tirgearr Publishing, is Available Now! Grab your copy while it’s still only .99 cents!

When I first heard of the City Night Series, I was intrigued. The parameters of 24 hour time frame and erotic romance, were somewhat daunting as I usually extend my stories over longer periods of time. However, I saw it as a challenge. However, I couldn’t think of a city, that I had knowledge of, which could be in any way interesting. I’ve lived a lot of places, and visited more, but somehow I didn’t think that One Night in Lubbock, Texas sounded quite as enticing as I might like. And then Troy Lambert wrote about Boise, Idaho and I knew that I could do it. Thank you, Troy!

My own city, in the Daytona area, isn’t very large or exciting, though it is in the story. In fact, a very important facet of the plot takes place here in sunny old Edgewater. And yes, we really do roll up the sidewalks early—what sidewalks there are. Mostly, we don’t have them. We are right on the Indian River, a stone’s throw from the beach, as the crow flies. As far as roads, I have to go to New Smyrna for a bridge.

Once I’d decided that, I tried to find a backdrop to the action. I couldn’t make their action the only events in the story. A friend suggested NASCAR, but I’ve never been and don’t intend to, so I passed on that. However, there are two other major events around here: Biketoberfest and Daytona Bike Week. Since The Ninja Tattoo takes place during Biketoberfest, I decided to use Bike Week instead. With that decided, I was off like a shot. I wrote the story in less than a week.

I hope you enjoy One Night in Daytona Beach and will check out all the other fantastic books in the City Nights Series. Swing your leather clad leg over that Softail and rev up your engine. Then hang on tight, you’re in for a hot, fast paced ride!

To Buy One Night in Daytona Beach

One_Night_in_Daytona_Beach_by_Dellani_Oakes - 500

Draven Wick, Not Just a Pretty Face from One Night in Daytona Beach

One_Night_in_Daytona_Beach_by_Dellani_Oakes - 200Draven Wick isn’t just some pretty boy actor. He started his career as a stunt man, but he also knows how to mix it up when he has to. When he goes to see Moose, the infamous head of a notorious biker gang, he’s prepared for trouble.

The heavy-set biker gang leader sat in his favorite easy chair, his glass in one hand, a Marlboro in the other. The door slammed shut behind him, and Draven knew he was in for it.

“Man disrespects me, I throw that man a beaten,” Moose said, nodding to whoever was behind Draven.

He sensed two men. Not letting either of them get a hand on him, Draven pulled a telescoping baton from his boot. With it in one fist, he slammed back as it expanded. His other fist connected with flabby gut and a handful of nuts. Both men grunted.

Jumping forward, Draven spun around, his back unavoidably to Moose. The fat leader sat still, enjoying the show. He’d been known to taze people, so Draven risked a glance at him before he faced off with the other two men. Both were big, with bulky muscles and a hefty layer of fat. Big might mean brutal, but it also meant slow. Draven was half their bulk and twice as fast.

The one to his right was Eisley, Moose’s second-in-command. Snarling, he flipped a knife open. The one on the left put on a pair of brass knuckles. Smiling wickedly, they lunged at Draven.

Hopping out of their reach, Draven swatted at them with his baton. They backed him up until his left heel hit the couch. Advancing, they both took a swing at him.

Jumping nearly a meter in the air, Draven did a back flip, landing on the couch. The baton popped forward, slamming the knife from Eisley’s hand before connecting with the knuckles of the other man. He followed up with hits to the balls.

Both were on the floor howling when he heard the chair leather creak. Moose made a grab at him, but Draven was too quick. He swung his baton, only to have Moose grab it from him. A sharp crack on his right arm and it went numb from elbow to fingers. Glad he was left-handed, Draven punched Moose in the jaw as the fat man raised his arm to strike again. Getting in under his guard, Draven landed a punch to the flabby gut.

With a whoosh of air, Moose dropped the baton. Draven grabbed for it, but missed as his right hand still refused to work properly. Instead, he put his foot on it so Moose couldn’t pick it up again. The two men on the floor wisely chose to remain there, not offering any aid to their boss. They might pay for it later, but they’d obviously decided that Draven wasn’t any fun to play with.

With a flick of his toes, Draven retrieved the baton, wielding it like a sword in front of Moose.

“You don’t own me,” he cautioned. “I did a favor, that’s the only reason I’m here. That favor is done, I’m gone. You come after me and mine, pieces of you will go missing. Are we clear?”

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

To Pre-Order One Night in Daytona Beach. Only .99 ¢ from Amazon (.99p/ .99 euc)

Something New – Part 40

something new coverAfter a lovely time together, Liat and Austin are relaxing when they hear noises outside. Foolishly, perhaps, Austin goes to investigate and finds Irving breaking into the sound stage. Armed only with a cellphone and a nine iron, he confronts the former director.

Irving turned. Austin pressed the button, eyes averted. He shone the light in Irving’s eyes. With a scream, the man rushed him. My some magic, Austin clicked the strobe, illuminating the room in flashing, blue-white light. Irving tried to tackle him, but he dodged. Swinging with his nine iron, he connected with Irving’s flabby middle. Austin wasn’t prepared for Irving to grab the golf club and yank it away, which he did on the second swing.

One meaty fist wrapped around Austin’s wrist. Irving grappled Austin, trying to choke him by using the golf club across his throat. Dropping to a crouch, Austin used Irving’s weight against him. He ducked under the club, grabbing it in both hands. He tugged, knocking the other man off balance. Irving fell awkwardly, cracking his head on the table. Items scattered with a clatter.

“Hands up!” Someone yelled from a few yards away. “Don’t move.”

“I’m Austin Templeton,” he said calmly. “My girlfriend called you. This bloke was trying to set the place on fire.” He nudged Irving with his toe.

“Stand down,” a loud female voice said. The woman from the front gate walked into view. “Hi, Austin. You okay?”

“I think? Hello.” He staggered, but she caught him in a surprisingly strong grip.

“You’re bleeding all down your back. Hold still.” She got on her radio and called someone.

Other security officers moved forward. They found Irving in the dark by the desk. He was bleeding heavily from a head wound. The shaft of the nine iron was bent, still gripped in his hand.

Moments later, an ambulance arrived. Austin wandered out, helped by the female guard. She was amazingly strong, or maybe he was just weak. They loaded up Irving, who was still unconscious.

Liat ran over. “Are you all right? You’re bleeding!”

“You ride along, buddy,” the EMT said to Austin. “Only got one truck, but we can take you both.”

“I’ll follow,” Liat said. “I’ll see you there.”

“Call Dwight.”

“I will.”

The doors to the ambulance slammed shut and she watched it drive away. The female security officer came over with a woman police detective.

“Are you all right, Miss Fogleberg?” the guard asked.

“I’m a little shaken up. But I’m not hurt. Is Austin okay?”

“Looks like he took some glass from the sign. Mind if I ask what you were doing here tonight? He doesn’t usually stay over without telling us.”

They took seats in the outdoor smoking area. Someone put a blanket around Liat’s shoulders.

“We hadn’t intended to stay. We—got carried away.”

Both women smiled, nodding. They’d had their share of getting carried away.

“We heard banging and Austin went out to see what was wrong. I called security.”

“Why didn’t he wait for us?”

“I don’t know. I suspect he was trying to keep me safe. Can you imagine what would have happened if Irving had successfully blown up the sound stage? I doubt we’d be sitting here right now. May I go to the hospital? I’m worried about Austin and he’ll be asking after me.”

“Sure,” the police detective said.

“I’ll take her,” the security guard volunteered. “Can we call anyone for you?”

“I’ll call,” Liat said. “I need to tell his friend and call my parents.” She pulled out her phone and dialed Dwight’s number.

“You’re on the news!” he screeched. “Is he all right? Are you hurt?”

“I’m fine. He’s headed to St. Mary’s. I’m following. Irma, from the front gate, is taking me.”

“I’m on my way. See you there.”

“Be safe. I don’t want you injured too.”

“I’m fine, baby. No worries. See you soon.”

The call to her parents was more difficult. They were so worried about her, they barely listened to details. They decided against going to the hospital, but told her to call if they were needed.

Irma turned in at the emergency room door, dropping Liat off. “You’ll be okay from here?”

“Yes, I can get a ride. Thank you so much!”

“Call me when you know something.” She handed Liat a card with her name and number.

“I will. Thanks.”

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

 

Please Note: Part 41 of Something New will be on Thursday, October 29 as I have a new book coming out on October 28th. Be sure to look for One Night in Daytona, available for pre-orders now!

To Buy Dellani’s Books

Interview with Buddy – One Night in Daytona Beach

One_Night_in_Daytona_Beach_by_Dellani_Oakes - 200What is your name?

Buddy, short for Bernard. Never liked that name.

What do you want most?

Strangely, I’m pretty happy with life right now. Well, not the dodging bullets so much, but Draven’s a good guy to work with.

Why is this so important to you?

Like I said, I’m pretty happy. It’s important to me to do what I love, and I love my job.

What makes you happy or sad?

Seeing Draven with Jamie makes me happy. Despite the shit that’s going on, they’re good together. I hope that means there’s someone out there for me.

How do you treat the people in your life?

To be honest, I’m probably kind of stand-offish. I’m horribly shy and don’t schmooze well. Draven makes it easy to hang out with, so that’s probably why we get along. I try to be a nice guy, but sometimes I have to be an asshole. Sorry, that’s my job.

Can people count on you?

Absolutely. I’m Draven’s go-to guy, but I will help anyone who needs a hand.

What makes you angry?

Don’t get me started—seriously. I’m a nice guy, and we tend to get shit on. Because of being Draven’s assistant, I’ve learned to push back. I’ve learned a lot from him, and I hope he’s learned a thing or two from me. We’re not just actor and assistant, we’re friends. I guess that’s more of a what makes you happy answer, huh?

Do you stand up for your beliefs?

You bet! I’m deeply spiritual. I had some personal tragedies a year or so ago, and immersed myself in my Jewish faith. I am trying to put those beliefs into action.

What excites you?

Waking up each day and going to work. I know it sounds lame, but this job saved me. I don’t know where I’d be or what I’d be doing if Draven hadn’t hired me.

What do you do for a living?

I’m the personal assistant for Draven Wick, actor. He hired me just before the show started filming. He’s a great guy and a friend, more than a boss. We get along really well.

What kind of books do you like?

I read a lot of biographies. I’m not much for fiction.

What kind of music do you enjoy?

I listen to whatever Draven’s listening to, when I’m around him. When I’m home, I tend to put on classical music. Big Mozart and Tchaikovsky fan.

What’s the one thing you’d most like to do before you die?

I want to find a woman who will love me as much as Jamie loves Draven. I’ve considered becoming a rabbi, but we’ll see where life takes me.

If you could, what’s one thing you’d change about yourself?

Honestly, I’m pretty happy with who I am. I’ve got a great job, a good friend and I believe in happy endings. I have faith we’ll get through this crap with the biker gang and put it behind us.

© 2015 Dellani Oakes

To Pre-Order One Night in Daytona Beach Only .99 ¢ from Amazon (.99p/ .99 euc)